Fake Turkish opposition leaflets distributed in Ankara

Fake leaflets purporting to have been printed on behalf of opposition political parties have begun appearing in Ankara two days in advance of a crucial snap election, independent news site T24 said.

The counterfeit Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) leaflets, purporting to have been issued by the party’s Ankara youth branch, call for the south of Turkey to be made into a Kurdish state.

The fake leaflets published in the name of the youth branch of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) call for the headscarf to be banned altogether, a reference to the party’s long-abandoned former policy of not allowing headscarved women in universities or to work in the public sector.

Meanwhile, two types of leaflet were printed to slander the Good Party, a nationalist party, by claiming that it is linked to the Gülen movement, which is believed to have been involved in a 2016 failed coup attempt.

This is not the first time that the opposition has been smeared with fake leaflets in Ankara. During the hotly contested 2014 local elections both fake leaflets and fake stickers with incorrect information about CHP candidate Mansur Yavaş were found pasted and strewn around the city.

Mehmet Atakan Foça of the fact-checking site Teyit.org also found an instance of a fake tweet being spread on Facebook in the name of the HDP claiming that the party would release the jailed head of the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and jail President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and military Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar if elected.